This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 12/14/2022 at 20:17:13 (UTC).

YOEL TRUJANO VS ASPIRE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Case Summary

On 10/25/2019 YOEL TRUJANO filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against ASPIRE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are AUDRA MORI, WILLIAM G. WILLETT and THOMAS D. LONG. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******8356

  • Filing Date:

    10/25/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

AUDRA MORI

WILLIAM G. WILLETT

THOMAS D. LONG

 

Party Details

Defendants

LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT A PUBLIC ENTITY

ASPIRE PUBLIC SCHOOLS A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION DBA ASPIRE GATEWAY ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant Attorney

FELD KAREN ANN

Other Attorneys

GOMEZ CARLOS ALBERTO

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT) PROOF OF DEPOS...)

12/14/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT) PROOF OF DEPOS...)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT) PROOF OF DEPOS...)

10/28/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT) PROOF OF DEPOS...)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL)

10/21/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT) PROOF OF DEPOS...)

8/24/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT) PROOF OF DEPOS...)

Order to Deposit Money Into Blocked Account

7/5/2022: Order to Deposit Money Into Blocked Account

Order Approving Compromise of Disputed Claim or Pending Action or Disposition of Proceeds of Judgme - ORDER APPROVING COMPROMISE OF DISPUTED CLAIM OR PENDING ACTION OR DISPOSITION OF PROCEEDS OF JUDGM

7/5/2022: Order Approving Compromise of Disputed Claim or Pending Action or Disposition of Proceeds of Judgme - ORDER APPROVING COMPROMISE OF DISPUTED CLAIM OR PENDING ACTION OR DISPOSITION OF PROCEEDS OF JUDGM

Expedited Petition to Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim or Pending Action or Disposition of Proc - EXPEDITED PETITION TO APPROVE COMPROMISE OF DISPUTED CLAIM OR PENDING ACTION OR DISPOSITION OF PRO

6/7/2022: Expedited Petition to Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim or Pending Action or Disposition of Proc - EXPEDITED PETITION TO APPROVE COMPROMISE OF DISPUTED CLAIM OR PENDING ACTION OR DISPOSITION OF PRO

Notice of Ruling

6/8/2022: Notice of Ruling

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT) PROOF OF DEPOS...)

6/8/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT) PROOF OF DEPOS...)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT); ORDER TO SHOW...)

7/12/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT); ORDER TO SHOW...)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NUNC PRO TUNC ORDER RE STRIKING THE MINUTE ORDER OF JULY 12, ...)

8/12/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NUNC PRO TUNC ORDER RE STRIKING THE MINUTE ORDER OF JULY 12, ...)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (NUNC PRO TUNC ORDER RE STRIKING THE MINUTE ORDER OF JULY 12, ...) OF 08/12/2021

8/12/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (NUNC PRO TUNC ORDER RE STRIKING THE MINUTE ORDER OF JULY 12, ...) OF 08/12/2021

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT) PROOF OF DEPOS...)

2/8/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT) PROOF OF DEPOS...)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE (MINOR COMPROMISE?))

4/9/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE (MINOR COMPROMISE?))

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT); ORDER TO SHOW...)

7/12/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT); ORDER TO SHOW...)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT); ORDER TO SHOW...) OF 07/12/2021

7/12/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL (SETTLEMENT); ORDER TO SHOW...) OF 07/12/2021

Request for Dismissal

9/29/2020: Request for Dismissal

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITH MOTION TO STRIKE (CCP 430.10))

10/5/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITH MOTION TO STRIKE (CCP 430.10))

21 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/14/2022
  • Hearing12/14/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 31 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement)

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  • 10/28/2022
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) Proof of Deposit to blocked account scheduled for 12/14/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 31

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  • 10/28/2022
  • DocketMinute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) Proof of Depos...)

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  • 10/28/2022
  • DocketPursuant to the request of plaintiff, Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) Proof of Deposit to blocked account scheduled for 10/28/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 31 Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion was rescheduled to 12/14/2022 08:30 AM

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  • 10/21/2022
  • DocketMinute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal)

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  • 10/21/2022
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Dismissal scheduled for 10/21/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 31 updated: Result Date to 10/21/2022; Result Type to Held

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  • 08/24/2022
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) Proof of Deposit to blocked account scheduled for 10/28/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 31

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 08/24/2022
  • DocketMinute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) Proof of Depos...)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 08/24/2022
  • DocketPursuant to the request of plaintiff, Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) Proof of Deposit to blocked account scheduled for 08/24/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 31 Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion was rescheduled to 10/28/2022 08:30 AM

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  • 07/11/2022
  • DocketUpdated -- Order to Deposit Money Into Blocked Account: Filed By: Yoel Trujano (Plaintiff); Result: Granted; Result Date: 07/11/2022

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50 More Docket Entries
  • 11/06/2019
  • DocketApplication And Order For Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem; Filed by: Yoel Trujano (Plaintiff); As to: Aspire Public Schools, a California Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 11/05/2019
  • DocketUpdated -- Application And Order For Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem: Filed By: Yoel Trujano (Plaintiff); Result: Granted; Result Date: 11/05/2019

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  • 10/25/2019
  • DocketFinal Status Conference scheduled for 04/09/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 3

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  • 10/25/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 04/23/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 3

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  • 10/25/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Dismissal scheduled for 10/21/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 3

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  • 10/25/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Yoel Trujano (Plaintiff); As to: Aspire Public Schools, a California Corporation (Defendant); Los Angeles Unified School District, a Public entity (Defendant)

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  • 10/25/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Yoel Trujano (Plaintiff); As to: Aspire Public Schools, a California Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 10/25/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/25/2019
  • DocketUpdated -- Application And Order For Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem: Status Date changed from 11/06/2019 to 10/25/2019

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  • 10/25/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Jon R. Takasugi in Department 3 Spring Street Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: *******8356    Hearing Date: October 05, 2020    Dept: 31

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

YOEL TRUJANO,

Plaintiff(s),

vs.

ASPIRE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, ET AL.,

Defendant(s).

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CASE NO: *******8356

[TENTATIVE] ORDER SUSTAINING DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND

Dept. 31

1:30 p.m.

October 5, 2020

 

  1. Background

    Plaintiff, Yoel Trujano filed this action against Defendants, Los Angeles Unified School District (“LAUSD”) and Aspire Public Schools dba Aspire Gateway Academy Charter School (“Aspire”) (collectively, “Defendants”) for (1) dangerous condition of public property, (2) negligence, and (3) premises liability. The complaint alleges that on 1/31/19, a large speaker toppled and fell on Plaintiff’s head and body while Plaintiff was a student at Aspire’s school.

    Defendants filed the instant demurrer to the complaint on 5/20/20. Based on current conditions, including, but not limited to, the spread of Covid-19, the court set these matters to be heard on 10/05/20 and ordered the moving party, Defendants, to give notice of the hearing date. (Minute Order 5/22/20.) As of 9/29/20, moving Defendants have not filed any such notice with this court.

    The hearing on the motion is continued to _________________ at 8:30 a.m. in Department 31 of the Spring Street Courthouse. If this date is not an available date for Defendants, Defendants may use the online reservation system to change the hearing date to the next available convenient date in the system.

    Alternatively, if Defendants can produce evidence that they properly gave notice of the subject hearing date as ordered, the court rules as follows:

  2. Demurrer

    A demurrer is a pleading used to test the legal sufficiency of other pleadings. It raises issues of law, not fact, regarding the form or content of the opposing party's pleading (complaint, answer or cross-complaint). (CCP ;; 422.10, 589; see Donabedian v. Mercury Ins. Co. (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 968, 994.) It is not the function of the demurrer to challenge the truthfulness of the complaint; and for purposes of the ruling on the demurrer, all facts pleaded in the complaint are assumed to be true. (Donabedian, 116 Cal.App.4th at 994.)

    A demurrer can be used only to challenge defects that appear on the face of the pleading under attack; or from matters outside the pleading that are judicially noticeable. (Blank v. Kirwan (1985) 39 Cal.3d 311, 318; Donabedian, supra, 116 Cal.App.4th at 994.) No other extrinsic evidence can be considered. (Ion Equip. Corp. v. Nelson (1980) 110 Cal.App.3d 868, 881 [error for court to consider facts asserted in memorandum supporting demurrer]; see also Afuso v. United States Fid. & Guar. Co. (1985) 169 Cal.App.3d 859, 862 [disapproved on other grounds in Moradi-Shalal v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Cos. (1988) 46 Cal.3d 287] [error to consider contents of release not part of court record].)

    A demurrer can be utilized where the “face of the complaint” itself is incomplete or discloses some defense that would bar recovery. (Guardian North Bay, Inc. v. Superior Court (2001) 94 Cal.App.4th 963, 971-72.) The “face of the complaint” includes material contained in attached exhibits that are incorporated by reference into the complaint; or in a superseded complaint in the same action. (Frantz v. Blackwell (1987) 189 Cal.App.3d 91, 94; see also Barnett v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co. (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 500, 505 [“[W]e rely on and accept as true the contents of the exhibits and treat as surplusage the pleader’s allegations as to the legal effect of the exhibits.”]).

    A demurrer can only be sustained when it disposes of an entire cause of action. (Poizner v. Fremont General Corp. (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 97,119; Kong v. City of Hawaiian Gardens Redev. Agency (2003) 108 Cal.App.4th 1028, 1046.)

  1. Request for Judicial Notice

Defendants request the court take judicial notice of (1) certain business records filed with the California Secretary of State (Dem. Cha-Caswell Decl. ; 2, Exh. A), and (2) Aspire Gateway Academy’s Renewal Charter dated 4/20/10 (Dem. Bean Decl. ; 6, Exh. B).

The request are unopposed and granted pursuant to Evidence Code ; 452(c). (Evid. Code ; 452(c) [Court may take judicial notice of “Official acts of the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the United States and of any state of the United States.”].)

  1. Analysis

Except as otherwise provided by statute, “[a] public entity is not liable for an injury, whether such injury arises out of an act or omission of the public entity or a public employee or any other person.” (Gov. Code ; 815(a).) “[T]his section ‘abolished all common law or judicially declared forms of liability for public entities, except for such liability as may be required by the federal or state Constitution. Thus, in the absence of some constitutional requirement, public entities may be liable only if a statute declares them to be liable’ [Citation.]” (Becerra v. County of Santa Cruz (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1450, 1457.) Consequently, “public entities may be liable only if a statute declares them to be liable.” (Tuthill v. City of San Buenaventura (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 1081, 1088 (emphasis in the original).

Furthermore, concerning Charter Schools, Education Code ; 47601 provides in part, “It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this part, to provide opportunities for teachers, parents, pupils, and community members to establish and maintain schools that operate independently from the existing school district structure…” “A chartering authority that grants a charter to a charter school to be operated as or by a nonprofit public benefit corporation is not liable for the debts or obligations of the charter school or for claims arising from the performance of acts, errors, or omissions by the charter school if the chartering authority has complied with all oversight responsibilities required by law…” (Id. at ; 47604(d).) “A charter school shall be deemed to be a “school district” for purposes of Article 1 (commencing with Section 14000) of Chapter 1 of Part 9 of Division 1 of Title 1, Section 41301, Section 41302.5, Article 10 (commencing with Section 41850) of Chapter 5 of Part 24 of Division 3, Section 47638, and Sections 8 and 8.5 of Article XVI of the California Constitution.” (Id. at ; 47612(c).)

In this case, Defendants demur to all causes of action directed at LAUSD. Defendants argue LAUSD is not liable for the actions of a charter school because charter schools, as a matter of law, are independent from the school district that authorized it. Defendants assert that LAUSD does not control Aspire’s employees or the auditorium where the incident occurred. Defendants contend that because Aspire operates independently of LAUSD, LAUSD cannot be held liable for allegations related to Aspire.

The complaint alleges that Aspire is a “nonprofit public benefit corporation” and LAUSD is a “public school district.” (Compl. ; ; 2-3.) Plaintiff was on the subject school premises where the incident occurred as a student of Aspire, where “the large heavy speaker was placed too close to students that were instructed to sit in the auditorium, was left unattended with its cables and cords tangled and protruding out thereby creating a tripping hazard, was not properly fastened or balanced thereby creating a risk of toppling, and given the umber, age, and volume of young children walking and sitting near it, these conditions created a foreseeable risk of injury from the speaker falling on a student.” (Id. at ; 9.) Concerning LAUSD, the complaint alleges LAUSD failed to provide adequate safeguards against this known dangerous condition, that LAUSD negligently controlled the premises, and that LAUSD had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition. Id. at ; ; 10, 12, 19.) In particular, the complaint alleges LAUSD is liable under Government Code ;; 515.2(a), 815.4, 815.6, and 835 and Education Code ; 44807.

The complaint, however, does not identify any statute that imposes liability against a school district for the negligence of an independent charter school. There is no provision in the applicable statutes for holding a school district liable for the acts of a charter school. (See Educ. Code ; 47600 et seq.) Moreover, given the judicially noticeable evidence showing Aspire is a charter school, there are no allegations in the complaint showing that LAUSD did or had the ability to control Aspire’s employees or premises where the incident occurred. The complaint merely states in a conclusory fashion that LAUSD together with Aspire negligently controlled the premises and had knowledge of the dangerous condition, but no factual allegations are asserted to suggest LAUSD can be held liable for the incident.

In addition, the statutes cited in the complaint do not impose liability on a school district for the acts or omissions of a charter school. (See Educ. Code ; 47604(d) [chartering authority not liable for claims arising from the performance of acts, errors or omissions by the charter school].) As matter if law, LAUSD and Aspire are independent legal entities, and thus, the complaint fails to state a cause of action against LAUSD. (See Educ. Code ; 47612(c); see also Knapp v. Palisades Charter High School (2007) 146 Cal.App.4th 708, 716 [“Focusing on the corporate structure of these charter schools, … the charter schools in question were ‘operated, not by the public school system but by distinct outside entities—including nonprofit public benefit corporations with independent legal identities [Citations]—that are given substantial freedom to achieve academic results free of interference by the public educational bureaucracy. The sole relationship between the charter school operator and the chartering district is through the charter governing the schools' operation.’”].)

Based on the foregoing, LAUSD’s demurrer to the complaint is sustained as to all causes of action. The burden is on Plaintiffs to show in what manner he or she can amend the complaint, and how that amendment will change the legal effect of the pleading. (Goodman v. Kennedy (1976) 18 Cal.3d 335, 349; Hendy v. Losse (1991) 54 Cal.3d 723, 742.) Plaintiff, however, did not file an opposition and thus does not provide any manner in which the complaint can be successfully amended to state a cause of action against LAUSD.

The demurrer is sustained without leave to amend as to the causes of action directed at LAUSD.

Defendants are ordered to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at sscdept31@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar. If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative. If the parties do not submit on the tentative, they should arrange to appear remotely.

 

Dated this 5th day of October, 2020

Hon. Thomas D. Long

Judge of the Superior Court



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